‘You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.’ Psalm 23:5 NIV
There are two kinds of people who’ll never understand your need to take care of yourself: (1) Legalists. They never stop trying to measure up to certain perfectionistic moral, ethical and religious standards. (2) Serve-a-holics. They sacrifice themselves on the altar of endless church activity, believing it’s the only way to please God. Some of Jesus’ disciples did this. When a woman poured expensive oil on His head they got upset. How come? Had they never read the words, ‘You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows’? In Bible times oil was used for different purposes such as soothing, massaging and refreshing the body after a long journey or a hard day’s work. ‘So God thinks it’s ok for me to take a break?’ you ask. Yes, but since serve-a-holics have a need to be needed, they think like: ‘This perfume could have been sold… and the money given to the poor.’ (Matthew 26:9 NIV) Their motivation might be different to that of the disciples but their belief system is: ‘Others matter—I don’t!’ Understand: When you take care of others but not yourself, you (a) become spiritually and emotionally drained; (b) end up resentful because your needs go unrecognised and unmet; (c) start looking for relief in the wrong places. Just as Samson headed to Delilah’s house to relax and let down his hair, when we look to the wrong people and things rather than learning to heed God’s instruction to care for ourselves, we give a foothold to the Enemy. That foothold can then be exploited for our destruction. Don’t let that happen to you. Start taking care of yourself spiritually, physically and emotionally.
SoulFood: Num 19–21, Luke 8:16–25, Ps 111, Prov 3:29–30
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023